The BayWa Group, based in Munich, is a German company which operates in the agriculture, building materials and energy sectors, and has locations spread across 14 countries. This website design project was executed for the US solar distribution group, and consisted of a website redesign to match the parent company brand guidelines, as well as a migration of magazine and blog content from an existing Squarespace site into a custom-built WordPress Content Management System (CMS).
Squarespace to WordPress Migration
A major component of this website design project was to migrate all existing content and posts from a Squarespace account, and move it into WordPress. This process required a custom approach for the export from Squarespace, followed by extensive QA and testing to insure the content was migrated correctly into WordPress with standard blog post functionality as a starting place. At that point, there were both manual and automated edits to all posts to clean up artifacts from the migration, as we as adding custom content management functionality into the WordPress posts.
Additional custom WordPress functionality was needed to allow for custom categories and content organization, custom WordPress search results, related articles by tag and content category, seamless email subscription functionality, and custom post types for podcasts and audio files related to each WordPress post. These categories did not align correctly before the Squarespace to WordPress migration of the content, so this was all planned out extensively and implemented on the WordPress development site during the redesign project.
Website Design & Brand Guidelines
The BayWa.r.e brand standards were well documented and well established for all aspects of the company, so our role was to follow these brand guidelines accurately and still execute a website design that was useful, intuitive, minimal, and clean to provide the best possible user experience on the new site. Site content grid structures and brand colors were all well documented and provided by the client for our reference throughout the project.
While many of the styles and brand rules were established at a high level, there was still plenty of room for creativity during the design phase of the project through implementation of the new website design. Ultimately, the WordPress development site was reviewed internally by the corporate and brand teams at BayWa for feedback and creative approval, which went very smoothly on this project. There were minor revisions to some treatments and preferences by the client for design elements that were iterated back into the development site design, and final creative approval was reached for all content templates and pages of the new website
WordPress Content Management System (CMS)
The WordPress Content Management portion of this website design project required a heavy customization of the WordPress admin experience to meet the needs of our client. This included custom WordPress functionality and plugins to allow control over form submissions and lead generation on the site, modal “popup” window creation and control for any type of site content, custom table layouts and mobilization of table content within site pages and posts, and other custom WordPress modules.
The admin editor features a “drag & drop” front-end editing experience so that changes to the layout can be done directly in the browser while viewing the content design changes in real-time. We also developed custom post types for management and sales teams so they could be categorized and filtered in various places on the front end of the site.
Additionally, all menus on the site are able to be managed and rearranged directly in the admin area by the client. The menu design features a “mega menu” styled flyout for the main navigation, with a mobile-first approach to the display and responsiveness of the menu content in the top navigation. Brand colors were also incorporated into the menu area as indicators of content selected and active within the WordPress navigation menu.
Mobile Responsive Design & Development
Mobile responsive design & development is a critical part of any website design project as mobile traffic increases and end users are more likely to have various touch points with a company or brand on a variety of devices and screen resolutions. With a mobile responsive design & development approach, we are able to present the website content in a highly adaptive way based on the device or resolution of the site visitor.
Extensive mobile testing and optimization was done during development to insure a consistent and smooth user experience on mobile devices and tablets throughout the new website design. Adjustments were made to font sizes and display, content formatting, image sizes, and the navigation menus to provide the best mobile experience on the new website.
About the Client
BayWa r.e. is all about energy – solar, wind, and bioenergy. They are at the forefront of a global energy transition, and are finding new solutions, pushing technological boundaries, and redefining service standards that are helping to make renewable energy even better. BayWa r.e. is also a leading system supplier to the solar wholesale market, having built our reputation by offering a comprehensive range of products, supported by industry leading customer support and advice.